Choosing a childcare setting

How to choose childcare that will support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Across West Sussex, there is a wide range of childcare provision including childminders, pre-schools, day nurseries, out of school clubs and holiday play schemes. These places are all types of childcare 'settings'.

All childcare provision should be fully inclusive and meet the requirement of the SEND Code of Practice 2015.

For children aged 0 to 5, settings must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This centres on learning through play. Many parents send their pre-schoolers to settings for this early education, whether they need childcare or not.

Find out more about different Types of childcare.

Visiting childcare settings

The setting should have a Local Offer document. This should outline how they include children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). You can request to see this and observe whether this reflects their practice.

When you visit a setting to see if they are suitable, you might want to ask these questions:

  • How might they meet the individual needs of your child?
  • How will the provider be flexible to ensure support of your child’s home routines?
  • How will the provider share information about your child and their learning?
  • How will the provider link with other professionals already involved with your child?
  • Does the provider know of any support they can access, including before your child starts, to help meet specific needs?